Do you have an upcoming mobile videoconference deposition? Here are some tips that will help your videoconference go smoothly for both the witness and the attending attorneys, whether you’re at the actual deposition or attending remotely.
Maximize your hotspot by keeping it plugged in/charging – this will be your connection to the Internet, and without it you won’t have a videoconference.
Test your connections ahead of time – from both ends. It’s vital that you test a day or two ahead of time to ensure that everything (audio and video) works and works well.
Check your audio and video feed prior to the beginning of the videoconference, and speak in a normal tone of voice.
State your name when you object. The court reporter needs to properly identify you if you are attending via videoconference.
Try to ask questions at a little slower pace – for two reasons: One, there may be video/audio feedback if two participants are speaking at the same time. Also, any participant who may have their devices muted can un-mute themselves in order to object before you move on to the next question.
Turn the lights on - the other participants need to see you. If the sun is behind you, it’s best to have that the blinds pulled to cover the window.
Dress professionally and for the camera. Solid colors look much better on camera compared to polka-dots, stripes, and plaids.
Sit up straight (like your mother told you) Also, know exactly how far you can move before you are off the screen and out of the shot. You can even use gaffer’s tape to give yourself boundaries of where to stay. Yes, this one is more witness specific.
Do not use your phone to respond to e-mails and text messages while you are in the deposition. Everyone will hear the clicks, become distracted, and the sounds can interrupt the audio feed to the videographer and court reporter. It’s a good idea to place your phone to silent before the deposition begins.
Beware that you can be heard. While you may be comfortable sitting at your office desk or in your home, what you do is being seen by all of the participants, the sound is being heard by the court reporter. It’s a good idea to use your mute button on your microphone if you aren’t speaking.
Have a cellphone on hand at the mobile location – you may lose your video signal at some point. Technology always has its limitations. However, you can still continue your deposition by having your cellphone handy and available to convert the proceedings into a conference call if necessary.
Yes, there will be problems - but you’ll get through it and learn from your mistakes for the next time.